Placement year in industry

Completing a placement year is a great way to get industry experience, allowing you to apply your studies to an organisational context.

You'll be able to apply for a placement year if you're on the following courses:

You can also pursue a placement if you're studying for a joint honours degree, or a combined course such as PEP or SPS. These are managed centrally by Careers - you can find out more on the current students webpages.

The placement takes place between the second and third years of your degree, and usually last between 9 and 12 months.

You'll need to pursure and secure a placement by yourself, although we'll support you through the process. Placements aren't guaranteed - if you don't manage to secure one, you'll just progress to the third year of your studies as normal.

Why do a placement year?

The placement provides you with an opportunity to gain experience in either political or non-political related fields while putting your academic learning into practice. You could apply to roles that are related to your degree, such as the House of Commons Placement Scheme or a placement with Yougov, or to a business-related placement in a wide variety of organisations and industries. 

A placement will enable you to develop considerably, both personally and professionally. You'll increase your confidence and gain transferable skills such as:

  • communication and interpersonal skills
  • team-working and independent working skills

You'll also begin to build up a professional network and gain valuable awareness of workplace culture.

As employers place significant emphasis on all of the above in their recruitment, completing a placement year will enable you to boost your employability and have an edge when applying for graduate-level roles. 

How does it work?

You'll start to look for placements during your second year. We employ a dedicated Placement Coordinator to help you through the search and application process. They can offer guidance on:

  • how to search for opportunities and approach organisations in the field
  • writing applications and CVs
  • how to prepare for assessment centres and interviews. 

We also provide:

  • Placement Lectures: Which are embedded into students' timetables covering key areas of finding and securing a placement. 
  • Industry led sessions: Spot light careers sessions that are delivered by organisations that recruit politics students. 
  • Keep in touch events: We put on events throughout the year in conjunction with the University's Central Placement programme so that you can meet and network with other students seeking a placement year. 
  • Daily Drop-In Sessions: Where students can arrange one-to-one appointments to discuss any aspect of their placement search with our Placement Coordinator. These include help with placement search, support with CV preparation, application guidance and interview advice and guidance.
  • On Placement Support: We will support you whilst you are on placement. This includes providing a through pre departure process and providing support and visits to you and your employer whilst you are on the placement. 

Get in touch

If you're interested in pursuing a placement, or if you are an organisation who's considering employing a Politics student, you can get in touch with our Placement Coordinator.

They can help with any queries you may have.

Placement Coordinator: Charlie King